Spy Series 2 Review

51+waB7BHTL._SY445_Spy is a strange little comedy. It certainly takes a little getting used to but somehow it draws you in. Only aired on Sky it is one those comedies which may have passed you by and that would be a shame as it a lovely example of a British take on a spy sitcom. Although with the recent spate of BAFTAs shamefully going to reality shows it is worth noting Spy has won two for the lead character.


The series revolves around Tim (Darren Boyd), a recently divorced man fighting for custody of his son who accidently finds himself employed by MI5. His son is sold to us as an annoying genius, his wife has left him for Philip (Mark Heap being Mark Heap), his relationship with his MI5 boss (Robert Lindsay) and his love triangle with his work colleague Caitlin (Rebekah Stanton). Series two rejoins Tim as he has become an official agent and Caitlin’s supposed dead fiancé reappears.


Spy puts a very British comedy sitcom spin on the world of the spy. There are no gadgets, there’s no glamour, the focus is on the witty exchanges and the man in charge is pretty much bonkers. Robert Lindsay is hamming it up gloriously as this man in charge (The Examiner) and despite being presented to us as an annoying brat Marcus, the son, is one of the highlights of the show. Series two gives Marcus more of a rounded character rather than just playing the brat. There is something rather sweet in the moments where you can watch his conflict about the custody battle rather his usual disdain.


Although Spy does have its charms, and it is disappointing there is not a third season, something does not quite sit right with the show. It is nice to see the British take on the spy world in a sitcom but there are moments when you really question why this is a family comedy. True the real core of the show is the difficulties a family can face when there is a divorce involving children but with the surroundings of the dad being a spy it does feel at times that the attempts to lighten a world which is violent and dark leaves you with a confused and disquieted feeling. The flippant comments of The Examiner about getting 47 innocent civilians killed by accident is just not funny and the episode in which they spend half the time waving guns at each others faces with characters supposedly willing to kill innocent people just because they know Tim’s MI5 identity is not family comedy. It may be prudish and unrealistic with the onslaught of television violence we constantly see but a family show should not be showing casual gun use. The juxtaposition of the spy world and Marcus’ school environment can feel like two halves being mashed together that just don’t fit.


A diamond to be spotted in this show, however, is the actor Matthew Baynton. Those of a certain televisual persuasion will spot him as one of the main actors from the purely brilliant Horrible Histories series. This is a comedy actor to keep an eye on, it is entirely plausible to see him becoming a staple of British comedy in the coming years.


Spy series two is certainly worth a viewing, an improvement on series one. Not quite good clean family viewing but a quietly classic spy sitcom.

3 Stars



Lauren Cracknell

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